Today at the NFL Owners Meetings Jets head coach Todd Bowles was asked about the quarterback position, and here's some of what he had to say:
On the competition for the starting quarterback spot:
Well there’s going to be a competition. Josh is coming in, Hack is coming back and we’ll see where Bryce is with his health. Hack will get a chance to prove himself this year and Josh will get a chance to prove himself, so we’re looking forward to it. And if we decide to add one, we’ll add one to the mix there whether it’s the draft or a free agent.
We’re going to have an open competition and the guy who will earn that spot will truly earn it.
On Christian Hackenberg:
He’s got to be excited because he’s got a chance to compete for the starting job right now, which is what he wanted to do in the first place. There won’t be any redshirting this year. He’ll have a chance to go out, prove himself and play.
On Bryce Petty:
He made some mistakes, some key throws, but some key interceptions as well, which is to be expected his first time starting for a couple games in a row. Hopefully he learned from that and moves forward from there.
On what Bowles is looking for in a starting quarterback:
We didn’t have such a good year [in 2016] ... we just have to make sure we have a guy who doesn’t turn the ball over and a guy that commands the room. We have to make sure to help that guy and not put it solely on the quarterback.
This is in contrast to the positions Bowles took in 2015 and 2016 with the quarterback position. In 2015 Geno Smith entered camp as the presumptive starter, with Ryan Fitzpatrick the backup. Bowles said then that the depth chart could change based on camp competition, but there was a clear pecking order to open camp. In 2016 it was more definite, with Ryan Fitzpatrick the unchallenged starter and Geno Smith the clear backup. In 2017 it sounds like there is no clubhouse favorite and may the best man win. It's still very early, so this could still change, but for now this sounds more like a wide open depth chart at quarterback than in years past.